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Seaford School Officials to Consider Additional Security Measures

Board of education discusses plans for safety in district buildings going forward following last month's Connecticut school shooting tragedy.

Seaford district officials are planning to continue new security measures put in place last month following the tragic Connecticut school shooting and will consider strengthening them for next year’s budget.

In the aftermath of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. that left 26 people dead including 20 children, Seaford Superintendent Brian Conboy announced that access to the district’s four buildings would be limited to visitors. This included limiting parent participation in holiday activities held the last week before winter vacation commenced and having only one entrance at each building available for visitors to access.

Seaford Board of Education trustees explained during their Jan. 3 meeting reasons for the additional security measures and how they may be enhanced or relaxed going forward. Brian Fagan, president of the Seaford school board, said during budget planning for the 2013/14 school year, additional features like buzz entry into buildings will be explored.

“Something happened and we took action and I think it was the appropriate thing to do,” said Fagan of the district’s response to the Connecticut school tragedy. “Seaford is not going to be complacent.”

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Conboy said the district will be communicating any additional district safety protocols related to buildings that is put in place.

“It is necessary for all schools and all districts to put responsible things in place to prevent horrible tragedies from occurring,” Conboy said.  “Ultimately keeping your children safe is our number one priority." 

The National Rife Association proposed on Dec. 21 having armed guards at every school in America but Conboy responded with criticism to the idea saying, "more control over the distribution and possession of weapons coupled with better identification and care for the mentally ill will have a positive and longer lasting impact in my view."

Joe January 09, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Well Columbine had armed guards in 1999. Newtown had a newly installed buzzer system. There was studies done by the Secret Service on this after Columbine for method on identifying potential threats, nothing was instituted, ultimately it will not be stopped by school admin sitting around a table coming up with "idea's". The State and Federal government must revisit this studies already conducted and well as a panel of highly skilled individuals in this field to come up with required methods for securing school systems as well as funding. Then and only then can this be done correctly, anything else is a band-aide solution to a major injury.
Lorraine DeVita January 09, 2013 at 02:44 PM
does anyone know if there is some law or statue in NYS that specifically addresses whether armed guards on school properties are allowed or prohibited?
Chris Wendt January 09, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Yes. Weapons possession is covered by VADIR, which reads in relevant part, referring to violations of VADIR: "Weapons Possession: Possession of one or more of the weapons listed below, except possession in a classroom or laboratory as part of an instructional program or in a school-related activity under the supervision of a teacher or other school personnel as authorized by school officials. Possession includes bringing a weapon to or possessing a weapon at school." (Firearms are included in the list of weapons.) By exception, possessing a firearm is not a violation for "...a teacher or other personnel (as) authorized by school officials".
Chris January 09, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Columbine had one Police Officer on post at the school. In 1999 Police were trained to wait for SWAT units to arrive to engage the active shooter. That is what he did as per policy. Today all patrol officers are trained to engage the active shooter immediately upon arrival to the scene. The NCPD have trained and are actively training their officers right now on active shooter response. Recognize the threat and stop it ASAP. I believe the law in NYS prevents anyone from carrying a gun on school property except police officers. Even retired officers are not allowed to. This is all due to the "gun free zones." Gun free zones tell the bad guy where he can do the most harm without any resistance. The federal government will take many more years to react. We are on our own for now. We must demand the district and local law enforcement do what is necessary now to protect our children and teachers. What price do we put on their lives?
Lorraine DeVita January 28, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Just read an article where another SD in another state equally concerned about providing a "deterrent" presence has started working hand in hand with the local PD. Perhaps instead of changing tours at the firehouse or other places the PO's could change tours at the schools on a rotating basis . Giving atleast some semblence of increased police presence without incurring additional costs by either the County or the SD.. This combined with additional measures being comptemplated and implemented by the District & while not perfect would possibly give pause to some and a better sense of security to most. I would also encourage many of the parents who ARE in law enfrocement to encourage their fellow officers to take that extra few minutes in their patrols to swing by their neighboring schools in their areas of assignment. Sometimes something as seemingly insignificant as a routine "driveby" can be effective.

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